How to Buy Olive Oil - Olive oils originated from the Mediterranean regions. So it's not a huge surprise that the top olive oil producers in the world are from the Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece.
There are also more than a hundred different Italian or Spain extra-virgin olive oils on the market and most of them are quite good.
I believe the way we choose our bottle depends on perhaps, the price, packaging and then the content. It's good to always read the bottle to see what you're getting.
It's important to choose the best quality olive oil if you plan on using it for daily cooking. One of the reasons for selecting the best quality oil is that a high quality olive oil tends to also have a higher amount of nutrition. So select with care.
"Extra-virgin" is your best bet in terms of quality and taste. It's the oil that comes from the first pressing of the olive, is extracted without using heat or "cold-pressed" or chemicals, and gives it the fruitiest and fullest flavor.
Basically, the less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil and the oil's taste is most intense.
Selecting your olive oil may be akin to selecting a bottle of fine wine in terms of taste, color, aroma and distinctiveness but unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age. It's best to consume olive oil that is "young" within its first year before it loses all its sensory qualities.
Check the date or year of harvest to make sure you're buying a bottle that is still fresh and good enough for the next 4-6 months. The year should be printed on the label.